Bob Chapek's Successor

Edited: February 28, 2020, 11:06 AM

An article appearing on February 27th from 'Forbes' was an enjoyable read. Headline: "Did Bob Chapek Win Disney’s Latest ‘Game Of Thrones’ — Or Is It Just Starting?"

The writer (Dawn Chmielewski) comments on Mr. Chapek's ascension and postulates on who his successor might be. As yours truly noted earlier this week, Mr. Chapek is longer in the tooth (60 years old) than Robert Iger was when he stepped into the CEO role (54 years old).

It was one of those rare TPI moments when Mr. Meyer and I concurred with each other -- agreeing that Mr. Chapek is likely a placeholder. Side note: According to NASA, on days when RM and THC agree on stuff you can stand a broom upright.

From the article: "With Iger also serving as the company’s executive chairman through December 2021, Disney have already set in motion its next chapter of Game of Thrones. That version of the story, speculation goes, has Kevin Mayer (58 years old) and Peter Rice (54 years old), two other candidates for the CEO role, jockeying to replace Chapek. Mayer led Disney’s acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Fox and now, Disney+. Rice, the former president of 21st Century Fox who serves as chairman of Walt Disney Television and co-chair of Disney Media Networks, has oversight of the company’s TV entertainment and news operations, the divisions Chapek still needs to digest."

Neither has any experience in the parks and Mr. Mayer has a weird optics problem with his background (former CEO of 'Playboy'). And neither is a fanboy fave like Disney/Universal veteran Steve Burke (61 years old).

Anyone venture a guess as to who will be the next King of "Waltsteros"?

(See what I did there?)

Replies (4)

Edited: February 28, 2020, 11:46 AM

If it was 5 years ago, I would have gone all-in on John Lasseter, but obviously that can't happen.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney look outside the company for a more traditional "hired gun", but I think all Disney park fans should fear that type of outcome, as the strategy has not worked from a fan's standpoint when applied by any theme park company.

I could also see Disney trying to push a female or minority candidate like Kathleen Kennedy, the company's first female and current CFO Christine McCarthy, or Zenia Mucha, the current CCO.

February 28, 2020, 2:41 PM

MS. Kennedy turns 67 in June. So ...

February 28, 2020, 2:44 PM

John Lasseter is a manchild he would never be a serious candidate for c-suite in a huge conglomerate like Disney, he would've gotten eaten alive. He was much better suited making cartoons and leading those people then having to deal with Wall Street (and he couldn't even do that without his weird personality screwing it up).

I think Chapek will be fine, he comes across a bit awkward because he doesn't want to say anything that could be considered controversial, but it took several years for Iger to warm his personality up what he is known for now as well. Back in 2000-2010 I used to call Iger "Mr Personality" because he always came across like a suit with no personality, but then as he got more comfortable in the role he totally changed that image.

Edited: March 1, 2020, 12:26 AM

TH's "Game of Thrones" comparisons got me thinking: why not HBO Programming President Casey Bloys? Thanks to the adventures of Tyrion, Daenerys, and Co., he transformed HBO from a premium TV channel to a Silicon Valley mega-brand. This paved the way for the company to enter the digital format with HBO Go/Now and WarnerMedia's upcoming HBO Max. And the man knows quality since HBO has consistently ruled the roost in terms of Emmy wins and nominations over the years.

I was originally going to suggest former president Richard Plepler, but like Chapek, is currently 60 years old. Bloys seems young enough to be in it for the long haul (even though I can't seem to find his age online).

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